LEARN 2 MOVE 7-12 - a randomized controlled trial on the effects of a physical activity stimulation program in children with cerebral palsy.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study LEARN 2 MOVE 7-12 is to improve physical activity in children with cerebral palsy by means of a six-month physical activity stimulation program, consisting of a lifestyle intervention and a fitness program.

PARTICIPANTS: 50 Children with spastic cerebral palsy, aged 7 to 12 years, with Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I-III, will be recruited in pediatric physiotherapy practices and special schools for children with disabilities.

DESIGN: A six-months single blinded randomized controlled trial with a six-month follow up will be performed in pediatric physiotherapy practices and special schools for children with disabilities, between June 2009 and February 2012. Participants are randomised to either a control group or an experimental group. Children in the control group continue their regular pediatric physiotherapy.  Children in the intervention group follow a six-month physcial activity stimulation program. So, half of the participants will still receive their regular physiotherapy.

INTERVENTION: The physical activity stimulation program consists of a six-month life style intervention and, parallel a four-month fitness training (first two months twice a week, and then two months once a week). The lifestyle intervention includes counseling towards an active lifestyle for parents and children, and home-based physiotherapy to practise mobility-related activities in a daily situation. 

OUTCOME MEASURES: To evaluate the intervention four measurements are performed during one year: at baseline, after four-month fitness training, after six-month lifestyle intervention, and at six months follow-up. Primary outcomes are physical activity as measured with the StepWatch activity monitor and self-reported physical activity. Secondary outcomes are fitness, capacity of mobility, social participation and health-related quality of life.

RESULTS: To be expected in 2012

EMBEDDING: LEARN 2 MOVE 7-12 is part of a Dutch national research program on effects and workingmechanisms of age-specific treatments for children and young adults with cerebral palsy. The research program contains 4 ages-specific projects: LEARN 2 MOVE 0-2 years, LEARN 2 MOVE 2-3 years, LEARN 2 MOVE 7-12 years and LEARN 2 MOVE 16-24 years of age.

More information about the project: